Choose the Right Paste for Wall Coverings

Choosing the Right Paste for Wall Coverings

Choose the Right Paste for Wall Coverings Always use a paste which is recommended by the manufacturer of the wall covering you have chosen. If there is no advice on the roll, consult the retailer.

In general, the heavier the wall covering, the stronger the paste will need to be. Strong, full-bodied wallpaper paste has a thick consistency and contains more solid adhesive than it does water.

Some pastes can be mixed to different strengths to suit both ordinary wallpaper and heavy vinyls by adding more or less water. Follow the instructions on the packet and measure the amount of water and paste carefully – never guess the quantities.

Many wall coverings must be left on one side after they have been pasted while the paste soaks into the paper. The paper expands slightly when it is damp and if it is not left to soak it will continue to expand on the wall – making matching difficult and perhaps forming bubbles. The length of time a covering should be left to soak depends both on which paste you are using and the type of wall covering – though in general heavy, thick coverings need to soak for longer than thin ones.

Vinyls need no soaking time because vinyl does not expand when damp.

Type of Paste



Glue size

For all bare surfaces before they are hung with a wall covering. Mix the powder or fine crystals with cold water. Size adds to the adhesive quality of the paste and makes surfaces slippery so that the covering can be slid into place. Some adhesives may be diluted to form size.

A pack which makes just over 1 gallon (5 litres) will cover enough wall for 8 rolls.

Cold-water paste

The traditional starch-based wallpaper paste, still favoured by many professionals because it tends to hold coverings more firmly than regular cellulose paste. For all weights of wallpaper, depending on water content. Mix with cold water, stirring well to avoid lumps. Use with glue size, to provide extra slip and adhesion.

1 gallon (4.5 litre) pack is enough for 5-6 rolls of medium-weight paper.

Regular paste or concentrated

For lining paper and standard wallpaper. Cellulose powder, flakes or concentrated liquid are added to cold water. Easy to mix and spread. Does not mark the surface. Not suitable for heavy materials – they absorb too much water so the paste will not grip.

1 gallon (4.5 litres) is enough for 5-8 rolls.

Heavy-duty paste

For high relief wall coverings; duplex paper; wood-chip; corks: flocks; special effects wall coverings like imitation wood panelling; imitation tiling and imitation brick. Will hold heavy materials. Mix with cold water.

1 gallon (4.5 litres) is enough for 4-6 rolls.

Ready-mixed paste

For paper and fabric-backed vinyls; paper-backed hessian; grasscloth: special wall coverings; expanded polystyrene tiles; veneers; coving. A paste containing a fungicide. Usually supplied in a tub. More expensive than powdered paste.

2.5 kilo pack is enough for 3-4 rolls.

All-purpose paste

For all wall coverings. Powder or flakes which must be mixed with varying quantities of cold water to suit the particular well covering. Follow the instructions on the packet. Contains a fungicide. More expensive than pastes for just one type of wall covering.

Water content varies between 7-12 pints (4-7 litres) per sachet, covering 2-10 rolls.

Vinyl adhesive

For vinyl wall coverings. A powder or ready-mixed paste containing fungicide to discourage mould – essential when hanging impervious materials.

1 gallon (4.5 litres) is enough for 4 rolls.

Lincrusta adhesive

For Lincrusta relief decoration and very heavy relief wall coverings. Thick ready-mixed paste.

13 pints (1 litre) will hang one roll. A 2-litre can will hang 2-3 rolls.

For tips on how to hang wallpaper, click here.

07. December 2010 by admin
Categories: Decorating, Wallpapering | Tags: | Comments Off on Choose the Right Paste for Wall Coverings


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: